mud sticks = said to mean that people are likely to believe something bad that is said about someone, even if it is not true
Mud sticks, however unjust and fourth-hand the accusation, however misguided your accuser and however hard you fight to clear your name.
to come out into the open = become know
But for the press, the story would never have come into the open.
gutter press = the type of newspapers that pay more attention to shocking storiesabout crime and sex than to serious matters
The footballer became the victim of gutter press.
to sweep smth under the carpet = to try to hide a problem
“… incompetency and mismanagement” were reported to the authorities at the home, but it was swept under the carpet.”
to muddy the waters = to make a situation more confusing
Lots of people may not like the president but Republicans have now really muddied the waters with a huge take it or leave it alternative.