a smokescreen

smokescreen

1. Literally, a dense cloud of smoke, especially created by artificial means, used by the military to conceal positions, movements, or operations from the enemy. We've asked for air support to create a smokescreen so we can evacuate our troops in safety.
2. Any action or statement that functions to conceal or divert attention away from one's true plans, intentions, activities, motivations, etc. The news that the retailer is increasing their minimum wage across the country is really a smokescreen to cover the fact that they are making huge cuts to the benefits they offer. As soon as my mother starts prying into my dating life, I put up a smokescreen by asking my grandfather about his favorite fishing spots—a topic he could talk about for hours. Works every time!

a ˈsmokescreen

something that hides your real intentions, feelings, or activities: She couldn’t answer the question, so she tried to put up a smokescreen by talking angrily about the interviewer’s rudeness.
A smokescreen is a cloud of smoke used to hide soldiers, ships, etc. during a battle.
See also: smokescreen
References in periodicals archive ?
So how will the character of Hungary change now?Miklos Haraszti (MH): This whole pseudo-ideological quasi-identity political talk about migration was just a smokescreen.
'Death penalty is only a smokescreen to conceal the ineptitude of the government,' he said.
CLAIMS that a fresh Stormont inquiry into the Nama controversy would prejudice a criminal inquiry have been branded a smokescreen designed to thwart accountability.
Pat Glass, Labour MP for North West Durham, said: "I have real fears that these reviews are simply a smokescreen for hiding huge cuts to further education funding."
Dr Campbell Cowan, chair of the Guideline Development Group, said: "Aspirin has been a little bit of a smokescreen to anticoagulation.
The Pars Community last night slammed Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston and claimed he's throwing up a smokescreen for the board's inability to save the club.
The Labour peer said of the covenant: "We must not use this as a smokescreen to cover the fact that we are cutting the military to the bone."
US optimism on Middle East talks is a smokescreen for Arab opposition to recognizing Israel, according to the tone of reporters comments.
He added: 'Unite remains wary about the government's continued obsession with privatisation of the NHS and we would not like the fine words and elegant phrases embedded in the constitution to be used as a smokescreen for private companies to take a larger slice of NHS services.'
The death toll mounts as Alex becomes more and more determined to get to the bottom of what increasingly looks like some sort of conspiracy, with intimidation of union organizers being just a smokescreen. The suspense mounts steadily, as it becomes difficult to tell the good guys from the bad.
But at a meeting of the council's executive yesterday, opposition party leaders slammed the lack of action, asked why other local authorities such as Carmarthen were continuing with their plans if Cardiff could not, queried why, if the assembly's review had been announced in July, its impact had only come to light now and accused the council of using this review as a smokescreen.
A senior source close to the IRA leadership said the raid on Castlereagh special branch offices was carried out by a section of British intelligence and that arrests, raids in Republican areas and claims about IRA activity ever since, had been put up as a smokescreen. The IRA denial came as Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble prepared for talks with police chiefs in Belfast today about the break-in.
And to leave little doubt that his words are not intended as a smokescreen, he said he plans to install another 316 at his apartment building at 350 Last 52nd Street this summer.
Look at the facts, please, don't just deny the reality to suit your own argument or make a smokescreen out of humour.