Of the dozens of Blade articles about me and my ministry, your March 30 article “Toledo street preacher faces new legal trouble; ‘Slim’ Lake asserts innocence in drug case” is the cheapest shot.
I know that many people, including some Blade staff, have made up their minds about me because of my criminal record. Still, the same journalistic rules that apply to others should apply to me.
Your story never explained that I don’t live at the house where I was arrested eight months ago and that I use it only for group meetings of the BOSS (Building Our Support System) Angels youth organization and other legal business purposes.
Why, in a 3,000-word story, wasn’t that fact mentioned?
You quoted Nancy Ann Jones as saying she’s “afraid” of me, using the police report Ms. Jones filed — without pressing charges — as support. You quoted her as saying I threatened to kill her if she told police, but neither of your reporters asked me whether that was true. It was not.
Ken Leslie, a man I don’t know, was quoted about people who — he claims — told him what I’ve done. I’ve never read a Blade story that allowed secondhand, anonymous speakers to tear down a person’s reputation without giving that person a chance to respond.
You would never apply such sleazy journalistic standards to doctors, politicians, police officers, or even sex offenders. They apply only to Rev. Slim.
If your reporters Taylor Dungjen and Nolan Rosen-krans really cared about what happens on Toledo street corners, there might not be a need for programs like BOSS Angels. More than once, both reporters were invited to come to our Sunday meetings and hear us talk about our program and plans.
They could have asked members and volunteers from the ages of 8 to 25 whether I’m a man of my word and whether I helped give them positive direction to keep them from making the mistakes I’ve made. But on our meeting days, your reporters were missing in action.
I’m not perfect, but I continue to serve a perfect God. BOSS Angels has given away hundreds of household care packages, has taught dozens of kids the meaning of kindness, and will start a free moving service for elderly people and poor families this spring.
Some Blade staff have told my story, good and bad, in fair ways. I hope others follow their lead.
REV. SLIM LAKE
Editor’s note: The Blade stands by its reporting and the accuracy of its story.