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CBS's Smith to Daughter of Henry Gates: 'Was His Heart Broken?'

While interviewing the daughter of arrested Harvard Professor Henry Gates on Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith wondered: "Is there something in this that says, 'I'm not going to take this'?...In speaking with your father, was he hurt by this?...Was his heart broken by it?"

Elizabeth Gates, a writer for the DailyBeast.com, declared that: "I think for anybody, you know, who is violated in their own home in that way, I think they would, you know, also call on their own defenses...My father was so sad about this, and again because he's always - you know, my father might be one of the last black men on earth who actually believed in the justice system." It would seem that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas still believes in the American justice system.

Gates, whose father was arrested for disorderly conduct after breaking into his own home, went on to explain: "You know, my father is a proponent of, you know, intellectualism can help you outrun the - the war on race. And I think the incident last week is a clear indication that that's not yet true...You know, he believes in following the rules, and when they're broken, it kind of disturbs his sense of security. And yeah, he was deeply heartbroken. I was not surprised, but he was very surprised."

While the charges against Henry Gates were dropped by the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department, Smith failed to even note the report made by the arresting officer Sergeant James Crowley. In that report, Crowley described a irate Gates shouting threats and insults: "Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was 'messing' with and that I had not heard the last of it...Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn't someone to mess with...I told Gates that I was leaving his residence...His reply was 'Ya, I'll speak with your mama outside.'"

In addition, Crowley's report provided important context to the incident, pointing out that Gates' own home had just recently been broken into: "Gates told me that the door [to the house] was un-securable due to a previous break in attempt at the residence."

Instead of questioning Elizabeth Gates on any of these allegations by the officer, Smith simply remarked: "It's interesting because one of the things your father said was 'all I want is an apology from this guy'...And the officer in question has said no way, no how." Gates replied: "I just saw that actually for the first time here on this show. I was surprised. I'd actually never seen that before. So yes, I was surprised that he said no way."

Smith concluded the segment by observing: "Your father has said that this is going to change - your father has written books, stacks of books this big, the PBS specials and everything else, talking about race. But has - is going to change how he looks at this from now on." Gates added: "Yeah. I think every time you're discriminated against in any way, you know, for Muslims, blacks, you know, women, gays, whoever it is - I think whenever you're discriminated against, it changes the tone."

In contrast to Smith, earlier in the show co-host Maggie Rodriguez questioned White House advisor David Axelrod on President Obama weighing in on Gates' arrest: "The President said last night that he believes that Cambridge, Massachusetts police quote, 'acted stupidly' when they arrested Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates at his own home. The President wasn't there. Do you think he went too far in claiming the police acted stupidly?...he wasn't there, so was he right to assume that's how it went down?"

Here is the transcript of Smith's interview with Elizabeth Gates:

7:00AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: Last night President Obama, during his news conference, was asked about Henry Louis Gates and his arrest in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had a response. We are going to talk to Skip Gates' daughter a little bit later on this morning.

7:14AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Up ahead this morning, more controversy and debate after the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. As you heard, the President has even weighed in. We'll be speaking with Gates' daughter ahead.

7:17AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: The controversy around Henry Louis Gates' arrest keeps growing even though the prominent Harvard professor no longer faces charges. CBS News correspondent Michelle Gielan has the story.

MICHELLE GIELAN: Disorderly conduct charges may have been dropped against Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, arrested last week after he forced his way into his own home, but the incident is far from over. Wednesday night the President was asked his reaction. At first, he made light of it.

BARACK OBAMA: If I was trying to jigger - well, I guess this is my house now. So it probably wouldn't happen. But let's say my old house in Chicago. Here I'd get shot.

GIELAN: But then, admitting a bias towards a personal friend, he made his feelings clear.

OBAMA: The Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when they - there was already proof that they were in their own home. There is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.

GIELAN: Meanwhile, the police union is standing behind the arresting officer, Sergeant James Crowley, who's refusing Gates' request for an apology.

JAMES CROWLEY: There will be no apology.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [REPORTER]: Is this now and ever no apology?

CROWLEY: Yes.

GIELAN: Michelle Gielan, CBS News, New York.

SMITH: Joining us now is Professor Gates' daughter Elizabeth, a writer for the DailyBeast.com. Good morning.

ELIZABETH GATES: Good morning, thank you for having me.

SMITH: You talked to your dad?

GATES: Yes, I've talked to my dad at length.

SMITH: Is there a way to know what happened in a given moment that would once and for all let us know what it was that made what would have seemed to have been a routine situation not so routine?

GATES: I'm not exactly sure what it was. I wasn't there either. I just know that my father has always been a law-abiding citizen and my father has always been on what he has described as the right side of the law. And I know that whenever he's ever been questioned about anything, he's always been very up front. And I know if somebody came to his door and demanded to see his I.D. he would have been forthright with all the proper documentation immediately.

SMITH: Is there something in this that says, 'I'm not going to take this'?

GATES: I think after Sergeant Crowley followed him into his home was when he knew that this wasn't going to be standard procedure. And I think that's when, for my father, the tone changed. And I think that's when the defense went up. I think for anybody, you know, who is violated in their own home in that way, I think they would, you know, also call on their own defenses.

SMITH: In speaking with your father, was he hurt by this?

GATES: My father was so sad about this, and again because he's always - you know, my father might be one of the last black men on earth who actually believed in the justice system. You know, my father is a proponent of, you know, intellectualism can help you outrun the - the war on race. And I think the incident last week is a clear indication that that's not yet true.

SMITH: Was his heart broken by it?

GATES: My father's heart - my father's very sensitive in this way. You know, he believes in following the rules, and when they're broken, it kind of disturbs his sense of security. And yeah, he was deeply heartbroken. I was not surprised, but he was very surprised.

SMITH: It's interesting because one of the things your father said was 'all I want is an apology from this guy.'

GATES: Simple human apology.

SMITH: And the officer in question has said no way, no how.

GATES: I just saw that actually for the first time here on this show. I was surprised. I'd actually never seen that before. So yes, I was surprised that he said no way.

SMITH: Your father has said that this is going to change - your father has written books, stacks of books this big, the PBS specials and everything else, talking about race. But has - is going to change how he looks at this from now on.

GATES: Yeah. I think every time you're discriminated against in any way, you know, for Muslims, blacks, you know, women, gays, whoever it is - I think whenever you're discriminated against, it changes the tone.

SMITH: Elizabeth, thanks very much for being here this morning.

GATES: It was my pleasure.

SMITH: We sure appreciate it.

GATES: Thanks.

-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.