On Nightline Martha had said that what Rachael does was "not good enough" for her and said that Rachael's latest cookbook was "just a re-edit" of her previously published recipes. Martha said Rachael was entertaining, but not a true teacher.
The media ran away with Martha's loaded words and developed it into tabloid fodder, nearly ignoring the fact that Rachael Ray, herself, was not even remotely offended by the initial comments. She actually conceded that Martha was correct in her assessments and that she, too, would rather eat Martha's meals than her own.
My own feeling here is that Martha was being her usual direct self. She is, and has always been, a straight shooter. (She has admitted in the past that she is not always the most sensitive person in this regard. She won't pretend to be impressed if there is nothing to be impressed about.)
Repeated comparisons between Martha and Rachael Ray must likely drive both of these TV hosts crazy, since neither one considers the other to be in the same competitive stream. Is it not true that people looking for a lasting, original cookbook with high-quality ingredients would turn to Martha before Rachael? Of course it is! Would someone looking for a quick-fix dinner using grocery-store coupons be inclined to reach for one of Martha's more complex recipes over Rachael's? Of course not! As Martha said, originally: "She's a totally different kind of cook than I am."
Personally, I don't feel Martha needed to make any sort of apology since no one was hurt by her comments in the first place. She was simply responding to an unfair comparison, and she was doing so honestly. No sense in apologizing for that.
Oh, and Martha invited Rachael back on her show "any time." So, there.