Political author Gore Vidal has been accused of being the mastermind behind Michael Moore's anti-war OSCAR acceptance speech.

Moore was met with a chorus of cheers and boos when he took the stage at Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre last month (23MAR03) to collect the Best Documentary ACADEMY AWARD for Bowling For Columbine and delivered a speech denouncing US President George W Bush and the war in Iraq.

He told the star-studded crowd, "We live in a fictitious time. We live in a time where we have a fictitious President conducting a war for fictitious reasons. We are against this war Mr Bush. Shame on you."

Now sources in America are questioning if Moore wrote the speech himself.

Historian and political commentator Vidal - a cousin of former Democrat Presidential candidate AL GORE - has his own anti-bush book DREAMING WAR: BLOOD FOR OIL AND THE CHENEY-BUSH JUNTA, recently released.

But the 77-year-old insists he had no part in Moore's powerful message; "I'm flattered. No, I didn't have anything to do with his speech although I did see him recently.

"Some of us, a group of like-minded souls, got together just to discuss informally who we might back to be president in the next election. We want a leader who won't lie to us. Mr. Bush is a 'come to Jesus' kind of fellow who believes he is doing God's work. And it explains why Tony Blair has gone along with him. He, too, is a crypto Roman Catholic and a secret Jesus lover. Together they are very dangerous."