From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

You can leave your shoes on. The Australian Christian Lobby’s Wendy Francis would do well to look up the definition of the Streisand Effect, after a series of tweets yesterday reminded us all of the existence of Volleys tennis shoes (the company dropped the Dunlop bit, apparently). Francis is the Queensland state director of the Australian Christian Lobby. Her Twitter profile reads “Campaigner for the innocence of children”, and the new battle in that campaign is Volleys’ “grassroots” advertising campaign on the brand’s website, which has been around since August last year.

Francis tweeted: “Parents be aware Dunlop Volley still sell sandshoes for school kids, but their website has R rated images as they’re now ‘all about rooting’.”

The images Francis objects to, which are on the Volleys website, include this one, with some non R-rated bums:

And this one, which includes two men embracing:

The Volleys campaign isn’t new, and is part of a partnership with Ansell condoms. The website reads:

“Our campaign is all about the celebration of sexual expression whilst remembering to stay safe.
For this reason we’ve joined arms with Ansell condoms in support of safe sex, as whilst we’re all about rooting, we believe in ‘safety first’.

“So stay safe this summer and root for us, root for change, root for VOLLEY.”

Considering the low profile of the images until now, the brand is probably grateful for Francis’ outrage — a spokesperson tells us website traffic is up 275% today after the tweet.

Class dismissed? What’s going on at CIT Solutions, the private training company that provides classes to a range of government departments? A tipster tells us some of the best teachers at the company are looking to up sticks because of changes to work contracts, including a significant drop in pay rates. CIT Solutions General Manager Paul Ryan told Crikey he couldn’t comment on work contracts as they were commercial in confidence. Maybe some public servants affected will tell us more? You can remain anonymous of course.

Trumping the Superbowl. The Superbowl halftime entertainment is usually the realm of Beyonce and other musically gifted people, while the pre-grame is devoted to stats and analysis ahead of the final NFL game of the year, but this year Fox viewers will be treated to an interview by Bill O’Reilly with Donald Trump. Like Trump, O’Reilly is no stranger to controversy, but we doubt the recorded interview will cover allegations of sexual harassment. 

The interview won’t air in the more lucrative halftime spot, which is when all the big-name advertisers pay top dollar to spruik their wares, but performer Lady Gaga has been told not to talk about politics, especially Trump, according to US reports. O’Reilly is one of Trump’s biggest supporters and was last week revealed to have been accused of again sexually harassing a former staffer. Fox settled her claim at the time Roger Ailes was being booted from Fox News for sexual harassment. O’Reilly has also faced other sexual harassment charges in 2004 and was accused of domestic violence against his former wife by one of his daughters. Trump of course was sprung during the election campaign making lewd remarks about females and claiming he grabbed women “by the pussy”. The interview will air on February 5 in the US.

Let’s make a deal. The hours are waning on Barack Obama’s presidency, and the outgoing US President has used some of that time to issue more than 200 commutations and 63 pardons, including commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower who was convicted of leaking thousands of US military and diplomatic cables in 2010. Manning has been in prison for seven years of a 35-year sentence but will be released on May 17 this year. WikiLeaks had previously tweeted:

“If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case.”

Now just to wait and see when Julian Assange gets on a plane to the US.

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