For those of us in the business of writing newspaper editorials, the news out of Gov. Paul LePage’s office gets worse and worse.

First, he declared in his widely watched and much-discussed inaugural address that he doesn’t care about editorials. We were hurt, of course. It would be one thing if the governor had said he doesn’t like editorials – but doesn’t care?

That’s dismissive. That’s, well, downright insulting.

But then, LePage has probably felt insulted by us on occasion; turnabout is fair play.

Now, though, the governor is saying he doesn’t even read newspapers anymore. He says reading the paper makes his blood pressure go up.

LePage broke the discouraging news about his reading habits in a speech to the Associated General Contractors of Maine, according to Monday’s Notebook column written by MaineToday Media’s State House reporters. Apparently got a good reaction from the audience.

Come to think of it, at least a portion of the capacity crowd that jammed the Augusta Civic Center to hear the governor’s inaugural address last month rewarded him with a standing ovation when he said he didn’t care about editorials.

So, we rip the governor. The governor rips us. The audience laughs, applauds and maybe even takes sides.

All in good fun? All part of the give and take between media and government?

Yes and no.

Public officials, from town clerks to presidents, have always expressed frustration and even anger toward the press. And vice versa. The media and the officials needn’t be enemies but some adversarial dialogue can be beneficial, not only for the adversaries but also for the public.

LePage seems to relish the adversarial relationship, using it for comic relief in front of friendly audiences and to fire up his political base. Good for him.

But we hope the governor hasn’t lost sight of the media’s crucial function in a free society – informing the public, scrutinizing the actions of those in power, providing a forum for citizens to communicate with officials and with each other.

It’s a vital role, and one we’re proud to fill.