dead cat - definition and synonyms

noun
  1.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    1
    a dramatic or shocking topic or idea that you introduce in order to distract people from an issue that is damaging you

    Conservative election campaign manager Lynton Crosby is a known advocate of such a “dead catstrategy.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 03/02/2016
  2.   From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    2
    throw a dead cat on the table to divert attention from something that is damaging you by giving people something more dramatic or shocking to talk about

    The key point is that everyone will shout 'Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!'; in other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 03/02/2016