My son texted me this week to let me know that "Borat 2" is out on Amazon, and I proceeded to watch it in spite of my better instincts. When the first Borat movie came out 14 years ago, I became a censor and wouldn’t let Max see it.

His mother, my first wife, comes from Kazakhstan, where I lived for several years. The film’s depiction of half of his heritage, then, is demonstrably false. But it wasn’t until I sat through "Borat 2" the other day I was able to put my finger on why I really don’t like the films.

They’re mean. Gratuitously and unnecessarily mean.

When, in his Amazon series "This Is America," Sasha Baron Cohen wandered Alabama’s Roy Moore with what he claimed to be a pedophile detector, the tittering by New York audiences must have egged on the prolific comedian to make a Borat sequel.

Throughout his career from "Ali G" to "Borat" and a mish-mash of other, often hilarious, made-up characters, Cohen has displayed a rare talent for getting the power to humiliate themselves on camera.

Before the invasion of Iraq, he asked Donald Rumsfeld if they made a mistake and invaded Iran instead (Rumsfeld then got up and walked out, with an angry eye at his press aide).

He asked former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh “what is the legal-eeze for cut the cheese?” Ingeniously, he snuck his way into the Conservative Political Action Committee congress this year dressed as Trump, and offered an underage girl to Mike Pence (who of course looked at him scoldingly).

Now, most famously, he got Rudy Giuliani to twitch on a hotel bed with a young, fake reporter. It’s all headline grabbing stuff and rich with, often deserved, Schadenfreude. When, it works.

What is less funny is his treatment of ordinary people. After the first Borat, a local weatherman in the Midwest whom Cohen conned for one of his gags lost his job at the TV station.

Time and again, he exploits the open-heartedness of regular Americans to foreign guests to make jokes at their expense. The picture he paints of this country is one filled with racist, uneducated peasants who repeat lines he feeds to them. Some might call that a set-up. Others may be so primed for an agenda-appropriate laugh, that they’ll overlook the meanness.

Seldom if ever does Cohen lampoon the Left. When his character in This Is America interviewed Bernie Sanders, he was practically fawning. The coastal elites are never targets because, well, they’re the audience.

Cohen takes advantage of the old rule in American comedy that you can poke fun at your own identity group, and as a Jew he says outrageous things about the Holocaust and plays out anti-Semitic tropes.

But when, as he does in "Borat 2," he makes a big issue of a ball and chain with an African-American woman or turns a debutante ball into a vulgar and grotesque spectacle from which the innocent attendees may never recover (unless you presume anyone who attends an Old South society event in Macon, Georgia, deserves it).

Comedy, one of Woody Allen’s characters once mused, is tragedy plus time. Cohen’s sin may be not allowing enough time, or simply, like the media hosts of today from Sean Hannity to Rachel Maddow, only playing to one audience. It may even be a little bit of both – humor can have an edge, but not one that is too sharp for the occasion or else people get hurt.

Max is now 21, majoring in media studies and has been making his own calls about what to watch essentially from day one (I let him watch "Lord of War" and "Thank You for Smoking" at precariously young ages so he could understand what Daddy did for a living).

Whether or not he watches "Borat 2" will be his decision, but one he will make fully warned. Much of Cohen’s dramatic acting is brilliant, as it was in "The Spy." His comedy, though is caveat emptor.

When was growing up in the 80s, we called things we didn’t like “bogus.” That certainly applies to "Borat 2."

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.