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Red Herring

Drawing a red herring across the path. Trying to divert attention from the main question by some side-issue. A red herring drawn across a fox's path destroys the scent and sets the dogs at fault.

Neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring.
Something insipid and not good eating. Neither one thing nor another.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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