a red herring

red herring

Something irrelevant that diverts attention away from the main problem or issue. The candidate used the minor issue as a red herring to distract voters from the corruption accusations against him. The mystery writer is known for introducing red herrings to arouse the reader's suspicion of innocent characters.
See also: herring, red

a red herring

COMMON If something is a red herring, it takes people's attention away from the main subject, problem, or situation that they should be considering. All the fuss about high pay for public employees is a bit of a red herring. The really serious money is to be found in private companies. A sighting of the missing woman in London turned out to be a red herring. Note: A red herring is a herring that has been soaked in salt water for several days, and then dried by smoke. Red herrings were sometimes used when training dogs to follow a scent. They were also sometimes used to distract dogs from the scent they were following during a hunt.
See also: herring, red

a red herring

something, especially a clue, which is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.
This expression derives from the former practice of using the pungent scent of a dried smoked herring to teach hounds to follow a trail (smoked herrings were red in colour as a result of the curing process).
See also: herring, red

a red ˈherring

a fact, etc. which somebody introduces into a discussion because they want to take people’s attention away from the main point: Look, the situation in French agriculture is just a red herring. We’re here to discuss the situation in this country.This idiom comes from the custom of using the scent of a smoked, dried herring (which was red) to train dogs to hunt.
See also: herring, red
References in periodicals archive ?
Being selected as a Red Herring Top 100 winner for the second consecutive year demonstrates our ability to innovate ahead of the competition, just as our brand new Mercury5 reader eclipses anything else.
We're delighted to see Pentaho being selected as a Red Herring 100 North America winner," said Andre M Boisvert, Chairman of Pentaho Corporation.
E[acute accent]"Being selected as a Red Herring 100 finalist again is a great honor," said Pam McNamara, CEO of CRF Inc.
Dodd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Serologicals, said, "All of us at Serologicals Corporation are proud to be recognized as a Red Herring Small Cap 100 company.
Being named a Red Herring 100 Company is a testament to the innovations a company brings to the market," said Vivek Ragavan, president and CEO of Atrica.
We are thrilled to be named a Red Herring 100 company," said Michael Zhao, president and CEO, Array Networks.
We are honored to be selected as a Red Herring 100 company as it recognizes technology innovation, customer adoption, and business execution," said Greg Oslan, president and CEO of Narus.
As a Red Herring 100 winner, DataSynapse joins the ranks of industry pioneers like eBay and Google who were identified early as companies that would change the way we live and work.
As a Red Herring 100 winner, DataSynapse will present its business model and technology at the Red Herring Spring 2005 conference, May 17-19, 2005 in Monterey, Calif.
We are honored to have been selected as a Red Herring 100 Private Company," said John Ousterhout, Electric Cloud Chief Executive.
com), the leading provider of sophisticated silicon solutions for advanced packet switching systems, today announced that Red Herring, the premier magazine for business technology and innovation, has recognized Sandburst as a Red Herring top 100 company.
As a Red Herring 100 winner a profile of IMlogic will appear in the June issue of Red Herring and deSouza will present an industry and corporate overview of IMlogic at The Red Herring Spring Platform, May 18-20 in Monterey, Calif.
Netezza Corporation today announced that it has been named a Red Herring Top 100 Private Company and has been recognized by editors of the magazine for its innovation and rapid success.
We see Tellium as a very mature company that is capable of competing with larger public companies, thus their designation as a Red Herring Private 50 company.