Andrew, I will defend the Sherpas actions (not being there I can only assume what happened); I have been on a mountain in a very similar situation with arrogant/boneheaded/don't show up to meetings/ignorant of others, climbers repelling above me on a shale filled slope and instead of ice falling it was a large rock avalanche that came down, putting my team in fatal danger. We were ascending first (long before they arrived).
I wasn't in a "murderous mindset" (I don't think the Sherpas were either) but I was in a mood to "physically" knock some sense into them. Even though this happened many years ago I still get mad when thinking about it and I am a very passive person!This kind of thing plays out every weekend at bars all over the world.
Some non-local, thinking they are too cool, starts throwing crap at the locals (physical and verbal), like ice chunks and ignoring protocol.
The locals then decide to throw it back (rocks/pebbles at the tent they were hiding in, must have been pebbles or the tent would have been shredded, no news that happened).
Of course the non-locals don't like it when people stand up for themselves (pebble throwing at their tent) and they decided to come out of the tent and make a stand.
Instead of peacefully apologizing and diffusion the situation; their arrogance/machismo steps up another notch and they verbally demean the locals, their culture and deity.
So of course the locals defend their honor in their customary way and the non-locals go away spanked and crying.
The only time this makes the news is when the non-local is super cool (in their mind) and the media can sell more advertising from it (NPR included- I heard their report first, and yes I thought it to be bias also).
The above analogy is how I explained the situation to my daughter 3 days ago when it first came out. The "rich" kids got a whooping and went home crying to their mommy.
Edited- BTW, I'm all for "alpine" style and I myself venture into most activities without a guide. But there are protocols/customs/courtesies that go along with any activity wither it be climbing, skiing back-country, running a river or even fly fishing. If the local group invites all to a meeting and everyone agrees that the area is to be closed so some safety lines or what ever be installed. Then everyone, even those not using the safety lines, need to follow the groups decision, that is how we all get along and if you want to be a rogue and think you are above the group, the group (the or mob) will remind you we are all in this together, and remind you in the groups customary way (you are on their turf) .