|1.||drop the dead donkey|
v. (chiefly British): To run a controversial or inflammatory television news story. A television news story constructed specifically to boost ratings through controversy. A television news story crafted for shock value.
We'll start the news cast with the story about the firefighters rescuing the kitten from the cherry tree. Then we'll drop the dead donkey, and run the story about how they fed it to the firehouse Dalmatian afterwards.