This is not the first time I myself saw this exact dirty media tactic.
First time is back in 2014 during the Ukrainian Euromaidan. That was at a time when the 052D class was just rolling out, and there were tons of news back then saying that the US has successfully pressure the Ukrainians to stop supply gas turbine (GT25000) to China, and thus the 052D will become a failed project in which China will not be able to build them anymore. What happened later, of course, is that the public eventually realized the total bullshit as the 052D kept rolling out.
Second time was at the end the 2016 (beginning of 2017, when China is receiving the first batch of Su-35's) when Pinkov (Kanwa) allegedly wrote an article saying that J-16 development became a total failure and the production seized. The author of the article mocked the Chinese aviation industry for their inability to successfully reverse engineer the Su-30 (this is what they implied J-16 program was about), and speculate that "the Chinese will never be able to copy the Su-35 now that they can't even copy the Su-30" (I am paraphrasing here). What happened later, of course, is that the public forgot about these outlandish bullshit news.
I don't know why these fake media keep doing this. I don't know what purpose it can possibly hope to serve. But if their purpose is only to get public attention, I have to say that they are winning. Because all three of these examples are at perfect timing. These are the reasons:
1. They are all released at a time when it was impossible to deny with available facts. Who (among us regular folks) can be sure at the 2014 and 2016 that what those article says are not possibly true?
2. These topics are something that the people on both sides cares very much about. People who pays attention to China's carrier project (or the J-16 and 052D) either want good news or bad news: the pro-China people is desperate for good news, and the anti-China folks are desperate for bad news.
When shepherd boy cries "wolf" too many times, people ended up disregarding him. It happened to Pinkov and Kanwa, it is happening to Minnie and to National Interest.
The media needs to learn that trust is an expendable capital, not an infinite resource.